Cold + flu season is approaching quickly. To keep you + your family healthy, we made a list of Chiro for Moms top 8 sick season essentials! There are chiropractic benefits to immunity but this list focuses on things you can implement at home.
Adequate, healthy sleep is essential for a health body. A great goal is to aim for 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Having a healthy sleep schedule is all about having a balanced sleep-wake cycle. You can "set" your cycle every morning by exposing yourself to bright light (preferably sunshine). In the evening, going to bed at a set time with a bedtime routine can be helpful.
A tool we like is the Calm App. Meditation, with an app or without, can be a tool used to relax and unwind before falling asleep. There are also a myriad of YouTube meditations available!
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone that acts as an immune function regulator + it plays a particularly important role in preventing respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D activates the innate immune system which elicits an early antiviral response.
Being the sunshine vitamin--this one is a little difficult for us Minnesotans to attain. Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish like tuna and salmon as well as egg yolks, and fortified dairy products. Since sources are limited and reaching the recommended amount can be challenging, we recommended supplementing this vitamin.
Getting a blood test to check your vitamin D levels is the best way to truly know the appropriate amount you should be taking. It is incredibly common for people to be low or deficient in this important nutrient so checking your levels is good health practice.
3. Ginger + Tumeric
Both ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties making them perfect additions to your cold fighting seasons. Add them to soups, curries, + even smoothies. We are sharing our favorite immunity focused tea below!
This is one of those things that we all kind of ~ know ~ but we still have a difficult time doing it! A general rule of thumb for water intake is to consume half of your body weight in ounces. (So if you were 180 lbs, you should aim for 90 ounces.)
Have issues drinking pain water? Try infusing your water with fruit + herbs. Our favorite hydrating combo is cucumber + mint.
Give @heyyoudrinkwater a follow on Instagram for a daily reminder in your feed!
Probiotics have been quite the buzz word in health lately. It can be complex topic but they all have the same goal: to optimize your gut microbiome. Your gut has a lot of connections to other physiological process, like inflammation and immunity. The idea is to feed your 'good' bacteria in your gut which in turn will support a properly functioning immune system. When looking for a probiotic two things are important: number of bacteria should be in the billions + it should be multi strain.
Since clean supplements can be tricky to find and research, we stick to a brand we know + trust: NutriDyn. They have endless supplement options, including our favorite probiotic-- Ultrabiotic Daily Multi-Strain.
5. Zinc + Vitamin C:
Zinc modulates numerous components of our immune systems. In fact, even mild zinc deficiencies can impair immune function by dysregulating your T cells. Zinc can be found in beef, poultry, and shellfish. Additionally you can find it in nuts, grains, + seeds.
Vitamin C's role in immunity is also vital! It stimulates the production of white blood cells + helps cells function properly so they can detect and eliminate pathogens. Vitamin C can also influence levels of other essential nutrients, so insuring adequate intake is necessary for many reasons. Although most people think to find this in citrus fruit, the highest Vitamin C content can be found in bell peppers, kiwi's, + guavas.
6. Essential Oil Diffuser + Oils
Essential oils have great therapeutic benefits. We diffuse them everyday in the clinic (+ our homes). You can find Essential Oil Diffusers many places and most are aesthetically pleasing.
Our favorite scents:
- Peppermint: ~ signature clinic scent~ Can be helpful with common cold/flu symptoms as well as sinus and respiratory inflammation. Additionally, it can be helpful with headaches and muscle tightness.
- Tea Tree: Antiviral + Antibacterial! Tea tree also reduces inflammation + triggers the activity of white blood cells~~very important in the immune process.
- Lavender: Helpful for insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, and anti-inflammatory + antiseptic
- Bergamont: Can help reduce tension + anxiety
Humidifiers add moisture to the air to help treat dryness--like a dry cough or dry throat. They can also be beneficial for sinus congestion, headaches, and other cold symptoms. Remember to use clean water and add an essential oil scent if it serves you!
8. Sauna or Hot baths
Is there science behind sweating it out? Actually, yes. Exposure to high temperature environments (like in a sauna or bath) has been shown to lower inflammatory blood markers. For health benefits, a 20 minute session is recommended, however benefits can still be seen when sessions are 15-20 minutes in length.
Access to saunas isn't realistic right now for everyone. Similar benefits can be achieved at home with a hot bath. Plus it's alone, relaxation time. Add Epsom salt for muscle relaxation!
If you are pregnant using the sauna can carry some health risks, including dehydration. Although new studies are showing that sauna sessions are safe during pregnancy, be cautious + consult your doctor!